Byline: Ninety-five per cent of beach users are bottom of the class for safety
As the latest RNLI research reveals that safety is bottom of the list when it comes to choosing a beach, the charity is urging beach-goers to choose a lifeguarded beach to keep themselves and their families safe this summer.
Just 5% of respondents choose a beach for its safety features. According to the research (1), ‘Been to that beach before’ is the top reason for beach choice, with 35% of respondents citing this as the main influencing factor. Of those surveyed, 45% visit a beach because it’s nearby, clean, or has good surf.
RNLI Beach Safety Programmes Manager, Kelly Keating, says:
‘These findings are very concerning – safety should be a key consideration for the public when choosing which beach to visit, especially families and groups with children. RNLI lifeguards saved more than 60 lives and helped over 9,880 people on just 71 of the UK’s busiest beaches last year alone, which shows how important it is for people to take beach safety seriously.
‘Many people equate beach cleanliness with beach safety, but this does not take into account ‘invisible’ hazards such as tides, currents and offshore winds.
‘With the holiday season upon us, we want people to enjoy their time at the beach. By prioritising safety and choosing a lifeguarded beach, people are significantly reducing the risks associated with using the water and can feel assured that they have fully-trained lifeguards on hand to help out should they get into difficulties.’
This year, the RNLI charity is increasing its lifeguard presence and will have lifeguards on over 100 of the busiest beaches in the south, south west and east of England and, for the first time, in south Wales.
The RNLI’s guide to beach safety, On The Beach, is available free-of-charge by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 0800 328 0600. Copies will also be available from most RNLI lifeboat stations, RNLI lifeguards, Tourist Information Centres, service stations, Little Chef restaurants and selected tourist attractions.
Those wishing to identify their nearest lifeguarded beach should visit www.goodbeachguide.co.uk. Provided by the Marine Conservation Society, in partnership with the RNLI, the site provides comprehensive information on the safety provision and facilities at beaches around the UK and Republic of Ireland.
The RNLI’s website, www.rnli.org.uk/beach, also has plenty of practical advice and tips on how to stay safe.safety
(1) Research conducted by Prescient on behalf of the RNLI in September 2007.
Notes to editors
- A photo of an RNLI lifeguard aboard a rescue watercraft is attached. Please credit RNLI.
2.RNLI spokespeople are available for interview or comment.
3.In 2007, RNLI lifeguards attended 8,201 incidents, aided 9,883 people and saved 62 lives on UK beaches.
4.The RNLI is a registered charity, which exists to save lives at sea. It relies on voluntary contributions and legacies to ensure its lifeguards and volunteer crews have the very best training and equipment.
5.RNLI beach teams will be on various RNLI lifeguarded beaches throughout July, August and September, to give beach safety advice, hand out flags, car stickers and sachets of sun cream, as well as collecting regular donations from the public to help fund the charity’s vital lifesaving work.
RNLI media contacts
For more information, please contact Laura Fennimore, RNLI Public Relations Officer on 01202 663181, email email@example.com or call the RNLI press office on 01202 336789.
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